Currencies: money talks

Foreign Currency including Euros, Yen, Dollars
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Companies stripping out the effects of fluctuation are missing the point

Portuguese banks: are you asking?

Fun at the disco as the country’s lenders size each other up

Norsk Hydro: ally oops

Steady prices and currency gains boost the aluminium group

Cloud software: cirrus, cumulus, churn

Paying for unprofitable companies is not a bet on a year of growth but on the next five to 10

Indian banks: paper chase

With a lot of supply coming, there is no rush to buy

HP: trying to win

The $2.7bn Aruba deal will do little to boost the Enterprise unit

Citigroup: Getting ready for primetime

Bank is girding itself for stress test results

Glencore: trading places

A solid quarter is not proof that vertical integration works

Barclays: flapping eagle

The bank is working hard to restructure, but progress is slow

Japanese electronics: beauty and the beast

Superficial qualities of the top line masks companies’ true character

  • Banks: HSBC vs TSB – does scale matter?

    HSBC is struggling to make the big, global banking model work. Earlier this week it cut its return on equity targets. Does TSB, a niche UK retail bank, have a better business model? Or is it impossible for banks of any size to make decent returns? Join us at midday UK time for a Lex live discussion

  • Amazon: In its own words

    Amazon’s free cash flow looks great – from a distance. On close inspection, the ecommerce company’s use of capital lease obligations obscures the vast scale of its capital expenditure, This in turn makes free cash flow look much rosier than it would if the true costs of running the business (such as principal repayments on capital lease obligations) were to be included.

    For starters: Amazon’s use of capital lease obligations has been increasing a lot:

  • In Defense of Fanuc

    At Lex, we always have a soft spot for those readers who agree with our views. Thursday’s Lex regarding Dan Loeb’s Third Point and Japan’s Fanuc attracted these comments from Jean Medecin, member of the Investment Committee at Carmignac Gestion, an investor in Fanuc. Carmignac have €50bln AuM.

    As long term investors of Fanuc we have always focused on assessing the company fundamentals rather than chasing the shadows of corporate actions. So far we can only rejoice at Fanuc’s performance.

  • Sky and BT: own goal?

    Tuesday night’s result on television broadcast rights for the English Premier League caught everyone off-side. Both sides appear to have overpaid at £5.1bn (£3bn prior), which strongly suggests that the value of sports content, or at least for European football, has not yet peaked.

    Sky will pay £4.2bn for the rights to televise 126 games per season from 2016/17, 83 per cent above what it paid previously. Sky not only protected its valued Sunday slots but also took care to gain as many first picks on Saturday as well. BT paid up, lifting their own payments by 30 per cent, though arguably for less. It receives less Bank Holiday slots, which Bernstein notes historically receive higher viewing numbers. Moreover, it will have fewer ‘first picks’ on which games to televise than before (12 vs 18). Their chances of showing the most popular games falls, and they have paid more. Hmmm, no flag?

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